ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday announced the 8th Wage Board Award signed with consensus between the management of media houses and the representatives of journalists and other media workers.

The special assistant made the announcement here at the National Press Club along with the chairman of the 8th Wage Board Award, retired Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan, and the office-bearers of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and media organisations.

Dr Awan lauded the office-bearers and the negotiating team of media workers as well as the management of the media houses for finalising the non-controversial award.

“The benchmark set by the government was to ensure that the basic pay of media workers and journalists has to be compatible with the minimum salary set by the government,” she said. “But at the same time we expect that the management will implement this wage board in time.”

She highlighted the increase agreed in the new wage board award and said that it was responsibility of the government to ensure its implementation. “The previous wage award was finalised in 2001 but it was implemented in 2011, this is not fair.”

The chairman of the wage board lauded all stakeholders for developing consensus for finalising the 8th Wage Board Award.

“Apart from this, the first wage board award of 1960 was finalised with consensus,” he said, adding, “The increase may look less compared to other impacts such as inflation but it is better to have timely implementation rather than fighting a court case for ten years”.

He suggested to the special assistant that to ensure the implementation of new wage award the government should link it with the issuance of public sector advertisements.

Members of negotiating team from the management of the media houses were All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) president Hameed Haroon, APNS secretary general Sarmad Ali and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman Shami.

Those who represented journalists and other media workers included Nasir Chishti, Bakhtzada Yousafzai, PFUJ president Shahzada Zulfiqar, Shoaib Uddin and Haji Mohammad Nawaz Raza.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2019

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